Standard Life Aberdeen sells insurance arm to Phoenix

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 | BUSINESS SALE

Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) has revealed it is selling its insurance arm to Phoenix Group for GBP3.2bn.

The firm is now focusing purely on asset management and the sale to Phoenix marks the end of a long transition period. The sale follows last year’s merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, which onlookers saw as a signal that Standard Life’s insurance business would be sold off.

Commentators claim that the fact that the buyer is Phoenix has come as somewhat of a surprise following initial interest from Lloyds, who were going to join its Scottish Widows brand with Standard Life’s insurance arm. However, that deal fell apart when neither side could agree on the terms. A by-product of that disagreement is that SLA is no longer to manage the GBP109bn of Scottish Widows assets it currently has on its books.

Keith Skeoch, co-chief executive of SLA, said that the Phoenix deal “completes our transformation from a capital-heavy insurance business.” The cash and shares purchase is also part of a much bigger arrangement that will see SLA’s smaller rival entrust SLA with billions of pounds for it to manage.

Clive Bannister, Phoenix’s chief executive called the deal a “game changer,” adding: “This is ginormous for us.”


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